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Deaf Awareness Month

Take September to appreciate and celebrate your deaf community. According to an article from HearingLikeMe.com, “Deaf Awareness Month began as the International Day of the Deaf back in 1958, which was first championed by the World Federation of the Deaf. Since then, it has been extended to the ‘International Week of the Deaf,’ which comprises the last full week of September.” Although Deaf Awareness can be celebrated during different times of the year for various historical reasons, making time to acknowledge and support our friends/family/peers who experience hearing loss across the spectrum is an important way to care about our world and those around us.

American Sign Language, the language used in the United States of America to communicate with deaf people using one’s hands, is a language I studied during high school and college. The language has informed my art-making and has been valuable in interacting with people in my life who experience hearing loss or are impacted by such. Because of this, I felt compelled to encourage you to think about ways you can see and listen to people in your life who experience hearing loss. Here are a few ways to get more involved in the deaf community:

  • Donate your time, skills, or finances to an organization that supports the deaf like:

  • Take time to learn the ASL alphabet - it is the foundation of the language via finger-spelling words and saying full words which use the handshapes found in the alphabet and can be found via a quick Google search

  • Mute your favorite TV show or movie and turn on closed captioning on your current streaming service or device to experience a some ways a deaf person experiences social media


 

Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.


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